Originally hailing from Ohio, national touring metal quintet The Devil Wears Prada are about to take to the road in support of their 2011 release, Dead Throne. This album is the fourth full-length under the group’s belt, who have recently signed with Roadrunner. The band gained some recognition in the metal world in 2012 when they played the Rockstar Mayhem Festival, as well as within the Christian community. Just last summer, the Christian metalcore outfit released a live DVD/CD titled Dead And Alive.
Amidst their busy beginning to 2013, rhythm guitarist/vocalist Jeremy DePoyster took some time out from The Devil Wears Prada’s pre-tour warm-up shows to speak with me about the band’s future plans and staying eager. Here is what he had to say:
You guys are about to embark on an American tour. What kind of presence are you trying to bring to the stage and how has TDWP’s live experience evolved over the years?
We tend to try and play better than we did as kids. In more recent years, it’s just us trying to build a really fun set. Not to say that we do whatever we want, but when you know that people are coming out to see you, knowing that you’re there to entertain them, just keeping them in mind a little more.
For me, bringing a big lighting package, we’d rather put on a really good, fun show, than bring home more money at the end of it. That’s kind of a big priority for us. Whenever we can, we put on a big production. You can always listen to the CD at home, so we just want to bring the whole experience, visual, audio and stuff.
I’ve heard talk of a new album in the works. What is the next musical step for the band in terms of this record?
I don’t know, I think I’m a little too close to it to accurately represent it. I thought I knew and then I stepped away and then looked back at some of the songs. It may be an extension and an evolution of Dead Throne and it may be a de-evolution in terms of some of the stuff we did.
Some of the songs on the EP [Zombie, 2010] too, some of the songs are really ridiculously heavy and fast, some songs are more just what we would call normal Devil Wears Prada songs. I think we’re trying to make it a little more diverse across the spectrum than what Dead Throne was. We’ll see when it’s done (laughs).
How do you guys go about songwriting within the band?
Yeah, it kind of goes song by song. Chris Rubey, our other guitar player, writes the majority of the songs in skeletons and whatnot. We will meet up for a month at a time, several times, and we’ll just go over the songs. Some songs are already done, some songs he’ll have two to two and a half minutes. Get in there, dig around, finish it, change this part, do this thing, add this. We’ll then take those back and demo those out. We’ll go from there.
The last record is probably similar to what we’re going to do on this record. We will hand them off to our producer, Adam [Dutkiewicz], and chop them up and go, “Well, maybe this part could have been faster” or “Well, I kind of liked this.” You get too close to the songs to really be able to hear what they sound like, so they can kind of give you that idea.
How do you remain vocally sharp while on a rigorous tour like this one?
You don’t (laughs). I guess I just drink a lot of tea. Mike [Hranica] and I both do, you try not to talk—he’s more disciplined at that stuff than I am. I guess just push through every night and don’t strain it too far. If you’re not gonna hit it, then you’re not gonna hit it. Just go for something that might be in key.
If there’s something really crazy that I look back on like, “Why did I sing that high on the record?” then you know, I’ll bring it down a little bit or something. Mostly just stay conditioned, that’s all we really know how to do anymore. I used to warm up a lot more and I would get to the point where I would use half of my voice before we even got up there. So I just get it loose and get it going.
On Dead Throne, your sound, in my opinion, took listeners back to the basics of American metal while remaining fresh and going in a bit of a progressive direction. What is the key, in a group like yours, to remain true to your sound, but not make the same album twice?
I guess you just have a personal standard that you’re not going to do the same thing twice, but also your influences change, the stuff that you’re listening to changes, the gear that you have, the ideas that you have, the mood that you’re in, your family life, your touring life.
A big thing for us is we are probably the closest that we have ever been as a group. We had a member change and just going on so many tours for so long, just kind of growing up a little bit too. I’m 25 now, I was 18 when I joined this band. We just keep getting more and more of a solid group, so I think that shapes the way a lot of things go. It’s a different environment every time you go in to write an album.
You have a knack for singing some pretty ridiculous and catchy vocal melodies that allow for balance in your songs. How responsible are you for the creation of those elements?
The lyrics are all Mike, they always have been—I’ve never really even thought about it. It would kind of go against his visions of what the songs are supposed to be about. The melodies and the structure of them are often all me. We had a few things on the last record that Jeremy [McKinnon] from A Day To Remember helped us out on. We did a few melodies there, stuff that I never would have came up with.
A track of yours that is a bit older, “Louder Than Thunder,” is a truly impressive display of your range.
Oh, thank you, thank you.
What are TDWP’s plans for the rest of 2013?
We’re going to do the record after this tour. Right now, we’re just worried about getting through the tour and getting things ready to go into the studio. When we get done with that, we have some pretty extensive touring, pretty much the next two years probably. Doing that kind of stuff, that’s all we ever do, go on tour.
Any new music that you are enjoying lately?
The new Sigur Rós, I like the new For Today, just a bunch of weird, minimal techno stuff. I’ve kind of been just messing around DJing at my house, annoying my wife. I’m just super into all of that weird stuff.
Is there a song or album takes you back to a specifically memorable moment in your career so far, whether it be your own music or not?
Certain songs that we always play after the set, our sound guy will play—always kind of do that. Songs, not really, just because there are so many times that we’ve played them in so many places. I think it’s more when we go back and watch video stuff we’re like, “Oh, I remember that.” When you’re in 45 different cities in a six-week period, over and over, it starts to blur together. Later, when you watch the videos, it all comes to life again. I think it’s that stuff maybe more than the songs.
Any goals that you have yet to accomplish as a band?
There’s probably a million things. I’m really thankful for what we have gotten to do and everything that we still get to do. Even though we have all of these songs written out, I still feel like there is so much more that we can do musically. There’s so much more on the video side of things that I’d like to get done and just so many other places that we’d like to play. We’re just never done. Hungry.
The Devil Wears Prada will perform at The Paramount, in Huntington, NY, on March 20, and The Chance, in Poughkeepsie, on March 21. For more information, go to tdwpband.com